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  Innovative circular economy approaches to produce products of value from marine waste


   Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

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  Prof Vernon Phoenix  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Marine based industries can produce a wide range of waste in the form of biological growth. For example, marine infrastructure is covered in considerable volumes of marine growth, including seaweed, shellfish, barnacles and coral. When structures are brought ashore for decommissioning this biological material must be disposed of, most commonly to landfill, at significant cost to the decommissioning yard. Other sectors such as aquaculture can produce waste including shell material. This PhD represents an exciting opportunity to convert this waste biological material into products of value.  During the PhD you will explore whether the marine growth can be biorefined into higher value end products, which could range from, for example, specialist fertilizers to enhanced construction materials. The tremendous diversity in chemical composition and material properties of marine growth means there could be a wide range of potential end products. 

During this PhD you will gain valuable laboratory experience, as you build skills in assessment of material properties, chemical analysis and valorization and creation of new products. You will examine the chemical and materials properties of different marine growth components, create new products from them and assess their performance. You will utilize our department’s state-of-the-art £6M civil and environmental engineering research laboratories, which houses a wide range of innovative analytical and materials testing equipment. In addition to our department’s facilities, Strathclyde houses a wide range of other innovative research facilities such as the Advanced Materials Research Laboratory and CMAC, providing you with the opportunity to access a very diverse array of cutting-edge equipment. 

Professional and personal development is an important part of the postgraduate researcher journey here at Strathclyde. During the PhD you will gain invaluable additional training and development through our PG Certificate in Researcher Professional Development, developing skills to help you meet your future career aspirations.

The Department of Civil Engineering, University of Strathclyde, is a dynamic, multidisciplinary environment known for its friendly and supportive research culture. You will join a welcoming cohort of fellow PhD students in our department, who have a wide range of backgrounds across engineering and science. Our supportive culture is reflected in our award of Athena Swan Gold Status (one of only a few engineering units in the UK to hold this award), recognizing our work on gender equality and supporting all staff and students.

The PhD would suit someone from a wide range of backgrounds, including, but not limited to, biological sciences, chemistry, civil, chemical or mechanical engineering, geo and environmental sciences. 

This PhD is supervised by Prof Vernon Phoenix and Dr Charles Knapp. Please contact [Email Address Removed] for more information and for details on how to apply.

The funding covers the full stipend and tuition fees at the home rate. To be classed as a home student, applicants must meet one of the following criteria:

• Be a UK national (meeting residency requirements), or

• Have settled status, or

• Have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements), or

• Have indefinite leave to remain or enter.


Biological Sciences (4) Chemistry (6) Engineering (12) Environmental Sciences (13) Geology (18) Materials Science (24)

Where will I study?

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 About the Project